The Dallas Cowboys entered Sunday night’s contest as the at home underdogs against the Philadelphia Eagles. Their defense could not stop, or even slow down, anyone for the majority of the season. They gave up the third most yards in NFL history. Jay Ratliff and Anthony Spencer all but refused to suit up for this squad. It was another year of Sean Lee watching a huge portion of the season from the sidelines. There was a seemingly endless rotation of defensive linemen without any big named free agents to help out. There was a rash of hamstring injuries. The secondary rarely won the “jump ball” competition. Early in the season, when DeMarco Murray went down with an injury and without Lance Dunbar, this team did not have anything that remotely resembled a running game. The offense was all up to Tony Romo, the offensive line and the receivers.
That was the bad side of this team.
Sunday night they flashed something different. The defense played one of their most complete games of the season. It was a game where the team played with a spirited effort that was lacking in many of the games this year. This time, there were few coaching mistakes to complain about. Turnovers prevented the Cowboys from winning the game. DeMarco Murray fumbled early on while near the red zone turning the ball over. Jason Witten had a ball that was thrown slightly behind him bounce off his hands and right into the hands of the defense. On the final drive for the Cowboys, Kyle Orton made his mistake and threw an interception when all the team needed was a field goal for the win. It was unfortunate; Orton had played a respectable game until that throw.
It was not Jason Garrett’s fault. It was not the defense’s fault. The defense played “Big” stopping Philadelphia on fourth and goal. Yet, it was not enough to overcome the mistakes made by our offensive stars.
Dallas lost 24-22. It was the first loss of the season that did not leave me feeling empty. I was satisfied with the effort. They came to play, even without their leaders, Tony Romo and Sean Lee. They played with heart and conviction. It was something to behold. I am proud to be a Dallas Cowboy’s fan.